Gold electroplating involves covering an object with a thin layer of metal to give the effect of being gold. This is done with chemical solutions and an electric current. It is a simple way of making an ordinary object or piece of jewellery appear much more attractive. Here is a quick guide to the three main methods of gold electroplating.
Brush plating involves painting the object with the gold plating solution. The gold is painted on with an electrical probe that has been fitted with a swab. It is dipped in the solution which is then worked into one part of the surface at a time. This method has the advantage of being very quick to get going, but the process itself can take some time if it is to be done properly. It also needs a lot more care than other methods — if part of the surface is not thoroughly coated it can lead to visible imperfections. Nonetheless, brush gold plating is a very simple method of electroplating and so is particularly suitable for DIY plating at home.
Tank plating is a more complicated method, but one that produces more even results. The gold plating solution is placed in a tank that also contains metal sheets connected to the electric current. The object to be plated is then immersed in the solution, usually suspended on a wire so that there is no need to handle it. This is a very efficient method and so is especially useful if there are many objects to be gold-plated, or if the item is large. The result should be a layer of gold spread evenly over the object with no gaps or imperfections.
Pen plating is similar to brush plating, but is useful for smaller or more detailed items. A plating probe is used on the object, but it is fitted with a small nib instead of the swab that is used with brush plating. The gold solution can then be painted on in much finer detail, which makes it suitable for more intricate work. The downside is that it is much more time-consuming, but this may be the best method if more control is needed to gold-plate a finely detailed object.
All these methods can be used at home if you obtain the right equipment. However, the surest and safest way to gold-plate an object, or to restore an object whose plating is wearing off, is to use a professional electroplating service.
Contact a company like Cook's Electroplating pty ltd to learn more.Share
29 December 2022
I really want a cool old fixie like some of the people at my university have, but they are actually more expensive than I had first thought. Then I was going through the shed at home, and I found a really old rusted bike my dad used to use. The bike needed a lot of work, so it's been a project for the last few months to get it working properly and get it looking great again. This blog has all of the repair and restoration steps that I have used, and pictures of my progress as the project progressed.